Welcome!

You will be redirected in 30 seconds or close now.

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Jeremy Geelan, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson

Related Topics: Adobe Flex, ColdFusion, Machine Learning , Wearables

Adobe Flex: Blog Feed Post

Apple and Emotional Discussions Around Adobe Flash Player

Now let’s talk business, pretending that we understand how it works

The recent announcement of iPad has ignited yet another wave of emotional discussions around the role of Flash Player in the evolution of mankind.  People easily take sides and everyone seems to know what’s right and what’s wrong.  Actually the word ‘’people” is too vague in this context, because vast majority of the population has no idea what Flash Player is, and they don’t have to know!  As long as they go to youtube and it plays videos people are happy and casually say, “Youtube is a great site!”  

On the same note, I have no idea how my car operates. Back in my school days, I’ve learned that some stuff burns inside the engine producing another powerful stuff that make the wheels spin.  Do I need to know more? Absolutely not. I lease cars and change them every three years.  Once a year I visit those 10-min oil change shops, and people open up the hood and do something to my car, which supposedly helps it run longer.



BTW, believe it or not, 80% of the people working in these shops don’t have deep understanding of how the car operates either. They have a better idea than me, but only people who designed the engine of my car know how it works.
The same holds true for Flash Player, which divides the Earth population into four distinct groups. The first group has about  a dozen of people who know how Flash Player really works.

A couple of hundred people belong to the second group. They believe they know how Flash Player works,  and I’m one of them. For example, in the upcoming seminars in Brussels and San Antonio, CA you’ll hear me explaining how Flash Players slices your code and allocates CPU cycles depending on the nature of the program it runs – more for UI rendering and less for the ActionScript Byte Code, or vice versa. I believe I understand how it works and will be happy to share with you my beliefs.

The third group of people consists of millions of software developers who either believe that Flash Player is a proprietary trash that should burn in hell, or those who say there’s no life without Flash Player.  
The fourth group are the people who never knew what the Flash Player was and lived happily ever after.

Now let’s talk business, pretending that we understand how it works.  Let’s enjoy badmouthing big guys: Apple, Adobe, and Microsoft. It’s easy because they are filthy rich corporations that want your hard earned money for their proprietary software that crashes, gives you blue screens, works slow, and has as many bugs as software written by you.

Yes, Apple products look polished. But until you can afford them it’s clear that only stupid people buy them - your netbook running Windows can do the same things for cheap.   Similarly both Hyndai and Mercedes owners consider each other idiots. Among computer literate people there’s a group of fanatics who equally hate both Apple and Microsoft as they want only free and open source software.  They don’t value their time and prefer to spend hours on making things work and reinventing the wheel  than using someone’s proprietary products.  These people are ready to constantly adjust and fix their HTML/JavaScript (do people still use the AJAX word?) Web applications, but will never accept the benefits of a cross-platform proprietary Virtual Machine such as Adobe’s Flash Player.  

Apple wants complete control on all the software that runs on their mobile hardware.  Since they can’t control the Flash Player’s code they don’t want it there.  Actually, Apple doesn’t want any competition to their system software on iPhone and iPad OS. You can use any Web browser as long as its name starts with an “S” and ends with an “i”. They invite developers to create programs for iPhone/iPad, but you can sell them only through iStore and that’s the main reason why they don’t want Flash Player there because  people will immediately start selling their games written for Flash.

On one hand, Apple says that Flash Player uses lots of resources and works slow on iPhone OS.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if one program runs slower than others on the same hardware there’s gotta be a way to improve its performance unless the owner of the hardware doesn’t want it to happen. And Apple is not willing to give Adobe the low-level API to use iPhone’s hardware more efficiently. Today, Apple wants to maintain the image of Flash Player as poorly written program.  

People who’ve been in the industry long enough remember how fifteen years ago Microsoft applied similar technique to kill WordPerfect, the competitor of Word at the time.  Microsoft was the owner of the code base of both THE OS and Word, and they didn’t want other word processors in the vicinities.

So far Adobe can’t find the key to the heart of Apple and Flash Player suffers.

I’d also want to bring your attention to another aspect that hurts Flash Player on the consumer-oriented market of Web applications. I’m talking about search engine optimization (SEO).  If you were a small business, would you consider creating a Web site for your company in Flash as opposed to HTML/Java script? Most of the small business owners wouldn’t want it. Why? Because they want their services to be found on the Web. If I sell vacuum cleaners or run a brothel in Nevada, I want the highest possible visibility on the Web.

Let’s take a concrete example – a Web site of our company that sells consulting services in development of rich enterprise applications with Flex and Java. Our Web site http://www.faratasystems.com runs in compiled ActionScript under Flash Player getting its content from external XML files.

What are the chances that someone who’s looking for Flex consultants on Yahoo! or via Bing search engine will find our Web site? You got it! We have zero chances of being found. What about Google? The chances are pretty much the same.  During the last two years I hear that Adobe gave Google some mysterious headless Flash Player (a.k.a Ichabod) that knows how to index an external content played by Flash Player. Does it work? I have my reservations.

You may say,  “Yakov, if you know all this, why in the world have you created the Web site of your company in Flash?” No worries guys, I’m not that stupid. The thing is that I have big mouth. I blog and  write articles heavily sprinkled with the proper keywords in plain HTML and JavaScript, and it helps.

Let’s do a hands-on experiment. Go to Google and type the following  words: enterprise development flex.  At the time of this writing, the first two entries on the first page refers to a book “Enterprise Development with Flex” that I co-authored with two of my colleagues at Farata Systems. The third and fourth entries will send you to my blogs at insideria.com. The fifth entry is an excerpt from our book published at Adobe Developers Connection site. The next entry will lead you to our book on Amazon.com. 

The entry number seven is from flexblog.faratasystems.com – it’s our Wordpress blog. None of these entries returned by Google was Flash content – all sites were plain HTML. Got the picture?

If you have spare time, check the second, third, fourth page of Google search results, and good luck in finding our nice, clean, and well designed Flash-only faratasystems.com.

Let’s get back to the original question, “What about a small business that sells vacuum cleaners online?” The chances are slim that they will write books and articles about their business hence their chances to be found online, if done in Flash, are close to zero.  Does it mean that using Flash Player for consumer oriented sites is a bad idea? Not at all, but you should play smart. If I’d be developing that vacuum cleaners’ Web site, I’d do it in HTML/JavaScript embedding Flash content in some portions of the Web site.

The picture is absolutely different in the enterprise  world of rich Internet applications. This is where Flash Player and corresponding technologies shine.

When I was developing a front end for a trading application of a foreign exchange company, I didn’t need it to be found by Google. I needed it to look and perform well, and nothing beats the Flash/J2EE combo there.  Take another example – an occasionally connected application for salesmen on the road. Adobe AIR (it embeds Flash Player) is the best tool for this job.

What’s the bottom line? Flash Player is an important part of today’s Web landscape. It’s not perfect, but there are areas where it’s the best if not the only solution. What about HTML 5? If the history of HTML 4 means anything to you, don’t expect HTML 5  to be a standard way of developing Web applications for another several years.  If you need to create an application that looks good and performs well today, go Flash Player 10.1 and above.

As to Apple and their bad behavior in iPhone OS, they won’t last long without Flash Player there. Take a look at this video showing great performance of Flash Player 10.1 on Nexus, the closest iPhone competitor. As soon as more smart mobile devices from other vendors (all of them will support Flash Player) will start competing with iPhone, Apple will surrender.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a leading digital experience intelligence company, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint Systems is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into your customer-critical services to help you consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed for digital business, C...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smart...
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions with...
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, discussed the best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
Technology vendors and analysts are eager to paint a rosy picture of how wonderful IoT is and why your deployment will be great with the use of their products and services. While it is easy to showcase successful IoT solutions, identifying IoT systems that missed the mark or failed can often provide more in the way of key lessons learned. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Peter Vanderminden, Principal Industry Analyst for IoT & Digital Supply Chain to Flatiron Strategies, will focus on how IoT depl...
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it m...
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet and...
"Tintri was started in 2008 with the express purpose of building a storage appliance that is ideal for virtualized environments. We support a lot of different hypervisor platforms from VMware to OpenStack to Hyper-V," explained Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus o...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...